Friday, May 03, 2013

Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

EntangledEntangled by Cat Clarke
My rating: 2.75 of 5 stars

I read Entangled right after I read Dare Me. I wanted something light to read, after reading about such horrible characters. It was a good book, but I wanted a thriller with characters I could relate to.

So I opened Entangled and my first though was. "I love this cover." It's quite gorgeous, eh? Cat Clarke tends to have really great covers, so whoever does them. Thank you. Not only from me, but my eyes as well.

The book starts off with Grace in a room. She doesn't know how she got there, she doesn't know what happened. But the only thing she can do is write and remember things she doesn't want to remember.

Sounds intriguing.

And it was, until you figure out why Grace is in the room. This will happen fairly quickly; however, there is another plot in here that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Sal, Grace's friend, and Nat, Grace's boyfriend, have been acting strange. And once you see them acting strange, you figure out the reason why as well.

I wanted to like this book a lot more, but each mystery wasn't subtle. It was drilled into your head to the point that once the reveal actually happened in the book, you don't really care.

In terms of characters. I have to say, I found the characters in Dare Me, despite their horrible ways, to be less horrible than the people in this book. Grace is whiny, Sal, while sympathetic at first, is stupid, and Nat is a jerk.

Since we see more of Grace, I didn't like her the most. I've mentioned this before, but I don't like it when characters bad mouth their parents. In my culture, if you act the way Grace did then you get shipped out to Africa and play around with the lions and hyenas. Once you do that, you come back and you behave yourself. I'm kidding about playing with the lions...there isn't any where I'm from. Just hyenas and some other animals.

[I'm kidding about playing with the lions...there isn't any where I'm from. Just hyenas and some other animals. (hide spoiler)]
 I wanted to like her, but she's a horrible friend and only thinks about herself. I do like how Clarke showed how bad Grace's self esteem issues really were, but it still wasn't enough for me to care or even like her. Her reason for cutting wasn't really established for me to understand why she did it.

Entangled, while it may have a beautiful cover, isn't what I expected, and I don't mean this in a good way. The only saving grace (haha) was the writing. So I'll read Torn for that reason...and the fact that it has a beautiful cover. It's gorgeous. I think I like it even better than this one.

2.75 out of 5

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Review: Dare Me by Megan Abbott

Dare MeDare Me by Megan Abbott
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is a book about bad people doing bad things. If you're hoping to see mean girls, this book is for you. If you're hoping to see said mean girls get their just desserts, then you're not going to find it here.

Dare Me starts off on a fairly good start. The cheerleading coach has to leave and the school is bringing in a new one. The old coach pretty much let the girls do what they want. And when I mean girls, I mean the captain. Beth. The Queen Bee of this novel and the group of teens.

But all that changes when the new coach arrives. She quickly dethrones Beth and becomes the leader of the pack. This might make for a interesting read, but to top it off it seems like the new Coach use to be the Queen Bee back in her hey day and seems to relish in being one again.

The girls are taken by Coach, including our narrator Addy. This makes Beth angry and she decides to seek revenge.

At this point, I was with the novel. Coach seems to have never grown up and while she is unhappy in her marriage, she seems to open up and love being the leader of teenagers. However, since she hasn't grown up herself, we see scenes with her bringing the cheerleaders to her house and letting them drink and smoke. Her husband seems concerned about this at first, but doesn't do anything.

Which makes me wonder where the parents are in this novel. Even though Coach is an adult, she doesn't behave like one and even calls Addy her best friend in this novel. Her relationship with Addy, and the girls in general, isn't healthy and her behaviour makes me wonder why the other teachers haven't done anything. Why her husband hasn't done anything. I mean, this is an adult who would rather spend her time with teenagers, instead of picking up her kid at daycare.

The parallel between her and Beth is fascinating though. It makes you wonder if Beth will grow up to be like Coach in the future.

That quickly changes though, when Beth decides to go into cray cray mode in order to take down Coach and bring Addy back to her side.

Dare Me isn't for the faint of heart. The behaviour of the teens and adults in this book is shocking and troubling. Everyone gets away with their bad behaviour, except one and even then said person was pretty much the only good one there.

Will you relate to any of the characters? I hope not. I sure didn't, but that didn't stop me from continuing to read this novel till the bitter end.

3.5 stars out of 5

Review: Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium, #3)Requiem by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Once upon a time, I read Delirium and liked it.

Once upon another time, I read Pandemonium and liked it even more.

Now, in the present, I just finished reading Requiem and by golly am I shocked. Shocked by how bad this book was.

Seriously, what on earth happened here?

I really liked this series; I loved how Lena grew in the first book from someone who was all about rules and order, to someone who was in love. Then when Alex 'died' I liked that, because Lena had a very unrealistic view on love and started to understand why people wanted the cure. The cure, would keep this pain away from her.

Then the second book came and the book introduced a different more grown up Lena. Alex was gone, but Julian came and he was awesome. I liked him better than Alex, which should have been the first sign to me that I should stop caring about him because he gets totally shafted in Requiem. But that's jumping ahead. In the second book, Lena and Julian are lovey dovey and bam Alex returns and we've entered the forsaken love triangle realm of YA.

Requiem then comes and instead of getting only Lena's view on the world, we also see Hana. I liked Hana in the first novel, so I enjoyed seeing her here. She's different, now that she's cured, but her story is still a lot more interesting than Lena, who I've officially come to hate in this novel.

Before I get into her, here's what I thought about the book.

The Good:

Julian. He's still loveable and an all round great guy. He's also not childish and considerate of other people's feelings. He's awesome! I don't want him to be with Lena and I don't ship them, I simply am a fan of Julian.

Hana's plot was interesting too, her chapters were too short so we never got a better look into her world, but it was still good. Hana has to deal with getting married and the guilt that has plagued her since Lena left. Her husband to be isn't all that great and the more she learns about him, the more she begins to question everything else.

I also liked how sure of herself she was. She's cured and she likes it. Granted, I think if you're cured you'll like it either way, but I liked that she wasn't struggling with the loss of love. She accepted it and moved on. It is what it is and what's done is done.

But the best thing about Hana's story, there was no love triangle. In fact, there was no romance at all. It’s just Hana being cool.

The Okay:

I still don't really understand what the loss of love really does. Hana's parents seem to care about her a great deal, but I don't see how that's possible if there is no love. It isn't described much in this novel, compared to the others, so I suppose that's a good thing.

The Bad

There are spoilers ahead, so be warned. There's also a lot of ranting....lots.

Lena and Alex are, to quote GlaDos, horrible. You know, I think they might just be the worse couple that I've read in a YA novel thus far. They're childish, petty, and so incredibly stupid. Once Alex shows up, he sees Lena with Julian and decides to let her go. Because that's what good boyfriends do.

But in order to do this, he acts like an ass. He's rude, he's whiny, and he's just downright horrible to Lena. He tells her that he doesn't love her and that they've changed. Lena cries, he acts like he doesn't care. So what does Lena do? She runs into the arms of Julian. She needs comfort and to make Alex jealous. Alex, not one to be upped in the childish games, finds a love interest for himself in Coral. Lena hates her. Alex hates Julian. Coral likes Alex. Julian loves Lena.

Coral and Julian both get strung around while Alex and Lena continue their petty games.

Seriously, Alex and Lena just suck.

So they fight, they both run into the arms of others, then at the end of the novel Alex and Julian fight and Alex leaves. Before he does he leaves a note mentioning the story of Solomon. Get it, Lena is the baby and Alex is the mother who doesn't want her chopped up. See, he's such a caring guy that he's letting Lena stay with Julian. Awwww.

Once this happens, Coral tells Lena that Alex really loves her and Lena decides the best way to deal with this is become cold and distant with Julian. Julian, should cut his losses. Lena is only there for him when Alex isn't in the picture and when he's being a jerkwad.

And this is my biggest problem with love triangles. Why introduce another character whose only purpose is to be used like this? It's not fun, it's not cute. It's just depressing and makes the MC look really bad. Why do I need to see the MC kiss another guy, when I know that she's in love with someone else and would rather be with them? That's horrible. Just horrible.

It's even worse when the second guy is better than the first.

With Requiem, there is actually no point to Julian's character other than to play second string to Alex.

Now you may be thinking that I'm stressing way too much over this, but when Lena's chapters came this was the main storyline. There was some stuff about the rebels and invalids, but the main theme was Lena loves Alex, Alex loves Lena, but they're too childish to communicate.

I mean, there was even a conversation between the two where Lena tells Alex to go run off to Coral and he says, "You don't get it do you?" Of course she doesn't you moron! She can't read your mind, she only knows what you tell her and you keep telling her that you don't love her or need her in your life. What else is she suppose to think!

Honestly, if this is what love makes people do in this world, then I support the program to remove it from their lives.


This is a disappointing ending to an otherwise good series. Requiem is just beyond disappointing and the love triangle was horrible. All it did was make me hate Lena and Alex, which is a shame, since I liked them in the first book. Even worse, is that it left me with a bad taste with regards to this trilogy  Instead of thinking, "Hey, this is good." I'll always think, "Lena and Alex *spitting noise*".

2 stars out of 5 

Review: Never Let You Go by Emma Carlson Berne

Never Let You GoNever Let You Go by Emma Carlson Berne
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Megan and Anna have been best friends since first grade. Megan, was that kid who wore the wrong clothes, did weird stuff, but that all changed when she was saved by the popular and beautiful Anna from social suicide. From that day on, Megan feels like she owes Anna everything and Anna won't let her forget what she did.

Then, during one drunken night at a party, Megan did the unthinkable. She makes out with Mike, Anna's boyfriend. She becomes an outcast once again. No one will speak with her. No one will sit with her at lunch. But just like first grade, she's saved by Anna, who comes in and sits with her at lunch. Everything seems to be back to normal.

But will fate repeat itself when Anna invites Megan to work at her uncle's farm for the summer? There's a new boy that Anna likes and wants, but that doesn't stop Megan from finding him attractive or finding herself alone with him.

Anna hasn't forgotten what happened with Mike and she isn't about to let Megan steal another boyfriend. Because if she does, it will not only ruin the friendship, but it might cost someone their life.

Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnnn!

Sounds like an amazing book. You have frenemies who seem to walk on eggshells when they’re together, a betrayal due to an affair, a love triangle involving two girls and a guy, a summer out in the country, organic farming, and add in a dash of thriller and crazy and you have the makings for a beautiful book.

Unfortunately, and I feel bad for this, but the book doesn't really deliver in its promise.


The plot has a lot of potential, but due to the size of the book, you never really get a good sense of any of the characters. Also, it's not fast paced, which is what you'd expect from a thriller. It wasn't until the end when things started to get interesting. The build up towards the climax had a mixture of really good moments, but slow as well. We see Anna forcing her relationship with Jordan on Megan. This causes Megan to feel uncomfortable, because she doesn’t see what Anna sees, but still wants to be super supportive. That’s what bbfs do. They support their friend’s delusions about guys they like. And by golly, Megan is trying to do this hardcore. Only there’s a problem. She’s starting to develop feelings for Jordan and is noticing that he feels the same way.

Anna notices too and she won’t let Megan stand in her way, even if they’re bbf4lyfe. Odd, I’ve never typed that word before and yet Word/Firefox never gave me a red squiggly line for it. My name will always get a red line, but bbf4lyfe. Nothing.[Odd, I’ve never typed that word before and yet Word/Firefox never gave me a red squiggly line for it. My name will always get a red line, but bbf4lyfe. Nothing. (hide spoiler)]

The plot isn’t really a bad point in this novel, yes it’s too short so we don’t have the story fully developed to its potential, nor do we get any memorable characters. But it is interesting and will keep you reading.


This, sadly, is where the book fails. Before I talk about the main characters, I’ll talk about the supporting staff since there are a lot of them in this book.

There’s a lot and they’re forgettable. There were times I was mixing characters together, because even though they may show up quite a bit, they’re never really there.

The story isn’t about them, so this is forgivable though. The story is about Anna and Megan.

Anna is a really good character and I liked how we never really knew what she would do. We learn early on that Anna is cray cray, but we never know why. We get flashbacks of her doing shady things, but it's mostly to show us how off her rocker she really is. She's prone to doing stupid and dangerous things, but she's still a kid. If she was always like this, then there had to be a trigger of some sort.

Sadly, we’re never shown this. Instead, we’re mostly shown Megan’s internal struggle to do good to her friend while stopping her feelings for Jordan. This isn’t bad, but Megan is an emotionally weak character. She’s quick to please Anna, never stands up for herself, and basically allows Anna to treat her like crap. Why? Because Anna saved her when she was young and forgave her for kissing Mike.

To be honest, you never really find out why the two girls are friends. Megan wants to please Anna, but she doesn’t seem to like her all that much. And Anna, why does she want to be friends with Megan? Maybe she’s facing problems at home and decides to find a weak willed person she can boss around to make herself feel better? I dunno, this wasn’t ever explained.

Anna’s purpose is clear. She’s there to be crazy. Megan was there to show us how she’s actually a good person who tries to reel in Anna’s crazy, without being the cause of said craziness. I guess she was the glue to hold Anna together and we do somewhat get a sense of this when Anna mentions that Megan was the only person she could trust. But after the betrayal, Anna hasn’t been the same and I just wish we knew more about this.

She’s a far more intriguing character than Megan, who is incredibly useless. Even though I was meant to feel sorry for Megan, I was secretly hoping that Megan would end up being the crazy one who framed Anna for everything. That would have been deliciously twisted and made the ending really stand out. Alas, that was not the case.[I mean, how twisted would it be if Megan was the one who killed Sweetie and blamed it on Anna, just so she could get closer to Jordan and make herself look like a victim. That would have been crazy on top of crazy. (hide spoiler)]


The book is short and you can easily finish this in a few hours. It does have a fairly interesting plot with some good characters and the ending did leave the door open to a sequel. But the story was about Megan and how Anna isn’t the friend who she really wants in life.

It’s fairly predictable, since the synopsis really does tell you everything, but the ending is good, Anna is great, and if there is another book I do kind of want to read it.

So why the two stars? I was originally going to give it three, but once I finished the book I pretty much forgot about it. It doesn’t leave a lasting feeling. You read it, you’re done, and that’s it.

Lots of potential with this novel, but the lack of content really made the entire story fall flat.

2 stars out of 5